Growing festivals, expanding pilsner and IPA continuing its trajectory are just some of the predictions for US craft beer trends next year.
US publication Craft Brewer Business gained the insights from a number of beverage makers on what is likely to happen in the craft beer category over the next year.
We have already seen IPA in its many iterations remain dominant in the US markets, with the segment accounting for 43 per cent of all craft beer sales in 2022.
The 2023 trends saw the driving force behind IPA’s continued growth was due to two distinct segments: the imperial/double IPA and the juicy/hazy IPA.
Brewmaster and co-founder of StormBreaker Brewing in Oregon, Rob Lutz, told Craft Brewing Business IPAs and pilsner products will continue to be expanded.
“I think we will see more and more people experimenting with new hop products, specifically hop extracts and oils,” he said.
“But the rationale for this experimentation will go beyond maintaining and expanding the aromatics and flavours of IPAs.
“While the traditional Czech and German styles have become more popular, we’ve also seen consumers gravitate toward more creative or experimental variations of pilsners.”
He also predicted that event organisers will need to be more creative with what they offer given economic conditions in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.
“With the state of the economy and competition for people’s time, it’s becoming increasingly important that events are ‘worth it’ both financially and experientially,” he said.
Cofounder of West Sixth Brewing in Kentucky, Brady Barlow, also agreed that event experience is going to be an upside, particularly with beer festivals.
“I think the growth is single digit but the barriers to entry for other breweries is pretty substantial which literally comes down to organisation and quality of product and staff,” he told Craft Brewing Business.
He also sees taproom location growth as a priority but investment in new locations must be more closely examined and in terms of varieties, expanding hop profile is the path forward.
“Everyone is jumping into lagers, but I see this softening in the new year,” he said.
When it comes to distribution, co-founder of Bent Water Brewing Co in Massachusetts, Aaron Reames, told Craft Brewing Business the focus needs to broaden.
“A diversified portfolio from large, sophisticated teams will continue to enable broad retail success,” he said.
“A craft beer-only portfolio offers focus, but is offset by small teams and higher execution risk within large retail.”
You can read the entire Craft Brewing Business article here.